Area of Interest

The focus of my research is to understand how different neurotransmitters and hormones help animals successfully choose mates, raise young, escape from predators, and survive harsh winters and other challenging conditions. The hormone and neurotransmitter pathways I study are very similar in all vertebrate animals, from fish to birds to mammals, so sparrow research can help us understand how these systems work in humans and other animals. One of the major areas of my research is the stress response. While stress helps animals and humans survive and cope with challenges, too much stress is bad and causes health problems. Yet we still don’t have a clear understanding of how and why stress switches from being helpful to harmful, or why some individuals, or some species, are relatively resilient to the negative effects of stress while others are more vulnerable. To address these questions, my research uses a combination of lab and field studies, and techniques from hormone sampling to brain imaging.


Selected Publications

 Lattin, C. R., M. A. Emerson, J.-D. Gallezot, T. Mulnix, J. E. Brown, and R. E. Carson. 2018. A 3D-printed modular device for imaging the brain of small birds. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 293:183-190.

Lattin, C. R., F. A. Stabile and R. E. Carson. 2017. Estradiol modulates neural response to conspecific and heterospecific song in female house sparrows: an in vivo positron emission tomography (PET) study. PLOS One 12: e0182875.

Lattin, C. R., A. V. Pechenenko and R. E. Carson. 2017. Experimentally reducing corticosterone mitigates rapid captivity effects on behavior, but not body composition, in a wild bird. Hormones and Behavior 89:121-129.

Lattin, C. R., D. E. Keniston, J. M. Reed and L. M. Romero. 2015. Are receptor concentrations correlated across tissues within individuals? A case study examining glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptor binding. Endocrinology 156(4):1354-1361.

Lattin, C. R., Ngai, H. M. and L. M. Romero. 2014. Evaluating the stress response of wild birds as a bioindicator of sub-lethal effects of crude oil exposure. PLOS One 9: e102106.

Lattin, C. R. and L. M. Romero. 2014. Chronic stress changes concentrations of corticosterone receptors in a tissue-specific manner in wild house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Journal of Experimental Biology 217:2601-2608.

Lattin, C. R. and L. M. Romero. 2013. The size of a melanin-based plumage ornament correlates with glucocorticoid receptor concentrations in the skin of that ornament. Biology Letters 9: doi:10.1098/rsbl.2013.0440.

Lattin, C. R., K. Waldron-Francis and L. M. Romero. 2013. Intracellular glucocorticoid receptors in spleen, but not skin, vary seasonally in wild house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 280:doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.3033.

Lattin, C. R., Waldron-Francis, K., Richardson, J. W., deBruijn, R., Bauer, C. M., Breuner, C. W. and L. M. Romero. 2012. Pharmacological characterization of intracellular glucocorticoid receptors in nine tissues from house sparrow (Passer domesticus). General and Comparative Endocrinology 179:214-220.

Lattin, C. R., Bauer, C. M., de Bruijn, R. and L. M. Romero. 2012. Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis activity and the subsequent response to chronic stress differ depending upon life history stage. General and Comparative Endocrinology 178:494-501.

Lattin, C. R., J. M. Reed, D. DesRochers and L.M. Romero. 2011. Elevated corticosterone in feathers correlates with corticosterone-induced decreased feather quality: A validation study. Journal of Avian Biology 42:247-252.


Review papers

 Lattin, C. R., C. W. Breuner and L. M. Romero. 2016. Does corticosterone regulate the onset of breeding in free-living birds?: The CORT-Flexibility Hypothesis and six potential mechanisms for priming corticosteroid function. Hormones and Behavior 78:107-120.